When bass move out deep for the summer, there are lots of ways to catch them. You can use deep diving crankbaits, swimbaits on jigheads, hair jigs, flutter spoons and the list goes onishing techniques. We’re going to talk about five of these ways to rig a worm today.
A dropshot is one of the best baits for offshore fishing when the bass are relating to a piece of cover, like a brushpile or a boulder. You can pitch a dropshot out, let it fall vertically and then fish it slowly in place. This allows you to keep the bait close to the cover for an extended period of time, which is often necessary for drawing a strike from a finicky post-spawn bass. It’s also the most effective way to rig a worm for targeting bass that are suspended off the bottom, as the bass will often eat it as it passes by them, or follow it down to the bottom.
Carolina rig -
A Carolina has several of the same components as a dropshot, but in a different order. With a drop shot, the weight is the last thing on the line, and then moving up a foot or so, you find the worm and the hook. With a Carolina rig, the worm and the hook are the last things on the line, and the weight is kept at a distance above the worm by a bead and swivel. A drop shot is designed to be pitched and fished in a specific area, more vertically. Whereas a Carolina rig works best when lobbed a long distance and then drug slowly back, more horizontally.
Shaky head -
One of the most versatile ways to rig a worm, a shaky head is very simple setup. It consists of only two parts, a jig head and a soft plastic. Some jig heads use a barbed keeper to hold the bait in place, while others use a screwlock spring. Either way, you can fish a shaky head at a variety of depths, around a variety of cover and for a variety of species of bass. A 1/4- ounce jig head works great when fishing for spots on an offshore hump that’s only 5 feet deep for instance. And a 1/2-ounce or even heavier shaky head makes for a great cleanup bait when fishing a deep ledge in 20 feet of water for largemouth.
Texas rig -
A shaky head and a Texas rig are very similar, in that they both have a hook, a soft plastic bait and a weight at the nose of the bait. The main difference between the two, the weight is attached to the hook with a shaky head and the hook and weight are two separate components of a Texas rig. Though a shakyhead is more versatile offshore, a Texas rig still shines brighter when fishing through thick cover, like brush and submerged vegetation. The pointed tip of a bullet weight slips through the cover better than the rounded shakyhead, making a Texas rig more weedless and better suited for those scenarios.
Neko rig -
A Neko rig is the most finesse presentation for offshore worm fishing. A Neko rig is basically a wacky-rigged worm with a nail weight, or Neko weight, slid up into one end of the bait. It’s best to slide the weight in the thicker end of the worm, which is usually referred to as the head. It’s also important to rig the worm on your hook with the hook point facing upward. This will make the rig a little more weedless and give you a better chance of hooking the fish in the top or side of the mouth. As with a wacky rig, you can slip an O-ring onto the bait to prevent losing lots of worms.
In conclusion... All of these ways to rig and fish a worm offshore have small distinctions that make them better suited for certain scenarios. If the fish are relating close to (or are even inside of) cover, a Texas rig works really well. If the fish are hanging tight to cover and finicky, a drop shot is a great choice. If they’re extremely reluctant to bite, the Neko rig is a great last resort.
If the bass are scattered out in the open on a fairly clean bottom, a Carolina rig allows you to cover a lot more of that strike zone on each cast. A shaky head works well in these situations too, especially when the bottom is a little more gravely or rocky. The main takeaway, however you decide to rig it, a worm is an excellent bait to fish offshore this summer.
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